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A future COVID-19 vaccine could be squirted up the nose

Article source:Station editor Update time:2021-03-10 09:31:05   Browsing times:second

A US company called Altimmune is developing a COVID-19 vaccine that gets sprayed up the nose.


Such intranasal vaccines may reduce coronavirus transmission better than shots do.


Boosters designed to protect against variants could also be delivered intranasally, experts say.


"Delivering vaccines to the sight of first exposure is an advantage," Dr. Buddy Creech, who directs the Vanderbilt University vaccine-research program and has worked with Altimmune, told Insider. "Typically, you don't get COVID-19 in the deltoid muscle of your arm - you get it in your nose, eyes, and throat. So it makes sense we'd want to at least consider a vaccine that can generate some immunity in mucosal orifices."


The three COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the US are, of course, all shots. Though they appear to curb transmission, it's unlikely that they stop it. An intranasal vaccine could create an extra line of defense, since it would prompt the immune system to produce antibodies that block infection locally in the mucous membranes of your nose and throat. That would prevent transmission by stopping viral shedding from those orifices.


Altimmune last month launched a 180-person trial of its intranasal vaccine, called AdCOVID, to test how safe the vaccine is, what side effects it prompts, and what levels of antibodies and T-cells it produces. Participants range in age from 18 to 55. The company expects to have data in the second quarter of this year.


Scot Roberts, the chief scientific officer at Altimmune, told Insider that the best-case scenario would be a rollout to adults at the end of this year or in early 2022.